Using Advanced Microslice Technologies for Hyperspectral Imaging of the Environment
The Department of Physics working with the Department of Geography at Durham University has carried out a project to assess the potential of a new concept for extreme multiplex spectroscopy to address future requirements for Earth remote sensing observations from space and airborne platforms.
The technique is based on a novel application of microlens image resampling optics to deliver unprecedented field-of-view sampling over multiple spectral channels simultaneously. Such an instrument will address spectral resolution and sensitivity limitations with currently available spaceborne instruments. High spectral resolution enables Earth Observation to characterise and quantify the ecosystem, land and water-surface properties that are needed to understand bio-geochemical processes and fluxes. Spectral fingerprinting is an established technique yet to be scaled-up to address whole Earth system processes. It offers significant benefits to many key areas of NERC science such as improving distinction between geological units, monitoring biodiversity at the ecosystem scale, mapping the use of natural resources and identifying dissolved organic contents and other pollutants in marine and freshwater ecosystems1-3. The project will develop a laboratory prototype with which to make quantitative measurements of performance both in the laboratory and in the field, an instrument that because of reduced size and weight also provides the potential for micro satellite deployment.